HRCP condemns brutal torture

HRCP outraged over alleged torture and humiliation of several death-row prisoners at Toba Tek Singh District Prison.

Express October 12, 2010

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed outrage at the alleged inhuman torture and humiliation of several death-row prisoners at the Toba Tek Singh District Prison, as well as official indifference to demands for an inquiry into the matter.

“HRCP is alarmed at credible reports of brutal torture on prisoners in Toba Tek Singh District Prison,” stated a press statement issued by the Commission on Monday.

According to HRCP’s information, around a month ago, the jail staff had started a search of cells of death-row prisoners at 11pm, ostensibly to recover mobile phones.

Many prisoners were brought out of their cells and beaten up. However, the treatment of three prisoners was particularly horrifying, it said. The prisoners ­– Muzzammil Shah s/o Imdad Shah, Ghulam Hussain s/o Gul Sher and Javed s/o Allah Dita – are alleged to have been stripped naked and a prison dispenser taped the private parts of each of the three prisoners in such a manner that they could not urinate.

Each was then allegedly forced to drink between three and four litres of water. The three prisoners were subsequently administered injections by the dispenser after which they started vomiting and had a strong urge to urinate but obviously could not. The tape was only removed four hours later. The three prisoners developed renal ailments as a result of the torture and one has also developed a urinary tract infection.

“No less disturbing is the impervious attitude of government officials to public complaints,” the HRCP stated. Even though the HRCP brought the incident to the attention of the Punjab prison chief around a fortnight ago, a request for an inquiry has not elicited any response. “Such apathetic response from public servants must be condemned in the strongest possible words,” it stated.

The rights group called for an open judicial inquiry to thoroughly probe the matter with a view to bringing to justice all the perpetrators, not least because of Pakistan’s ratification earlier this year of the Convention against Torture and the reported participation of a medical practitioner in the torture of the three prisoners.

It also called upon the government to immediately order a medical examination of the three prisoners and provision of appropriate medical assistance to them.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2010.


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